“THE Halcyon gripped me straight away.

“Setting the story within this high-class hotel and also against the backdrop of the Second World War gives you such a huge scope for drama and for what’s to come.”

Steven Mackintosh talking to me about new eight-part drama The Halcyon.

Starting on ITV at 9pm next Monday (January 2).

He plays hotel manager Richard Garland as the series opens in 1940.

Before a return to 1939.

With World War Two and the Blitz soon to impact on London and this five star West End hotel.

As you might imagine, I’ve been on quite a few film and TV sets over the last 35 years.

But the one for The Halcyon – created by production designer Matt Gant – took my breath away.

Let’s just say no-one held back on the budget.

Silver Shadow

MY recent week on the Budapest set of ITV1 2012 drama Titanic brought back memories of a much happier voyage.

As did a trip last week to see Jamie Cullum in concert at Kew Gardens.

The below feature was published in June 2005 but appears to have vanished from the MEN website.

So I thought I’d post it back somewhere on the web, for those who might be interested in reading it.

Of course a few things have changed since then, and the Silversea fleet has expanded.

But it remains my ambition to, somehow, someday return to the ship that captured my heart.